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Senator Murray Sinclair

Lifetime Achievement (2017)

Peguis First Nation, Manitoba

In 1994, Murray Sinclair was the recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now Indspire) in the category of Law and Justice, for his work as the first Aboriginal Associate Chief Justice in Manitoba. Senator Murray Sinclair is the first double-laureate since the Awards began in 1993, and in 2017, he will be honored with Indspire’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Senator Sinclair served in the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He began sharing his knowledge of Aboriginal people and law in 1981 as adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Manitoba. In 1988 he served as Co-Commissioner of the Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal Peoples of Manitoba.

In 2009, Murray Sinclair was appointed the Chair of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Throughout this process, he was instrumental in creating a space for more than 6,000 Residential Schools Survivors across Canada, a chance to tell their stories on a National level. Many survivors spoke for the very first time about their experiences. Senator Sinclair ensured that survivors’ stories were properly documented so that all Canadians could learn this dark part of our country’s history. This documentation will contribute to the country’s collective healing for years to come.

As a result of Senator Sinclair’s leadership, the first comprehensive report on the Indian Residential School System in Canada was published in 2015, including 94 recommendations for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to begin their collective journey toward reconciliation.

Murray Sinclair was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on April 2nd, 2016.